A Quiet Place writers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck are currently working on their directorial debut with Haunt, which turned into a real-life horror a few weeks ago when a man was fatally stabbed 200 yards from the set. The incident happened on June 29th where filming was taking place in Pomona, California near the Cal Poly Pomona campus. The production was about to go for a lunch break when all of a sudden a bunch of police cars and helicopters descended on the set.
Haunt producer Todd Garner recently told his story and says that things became pretty hectic really fast. According to Garner, police immediately shut down the set and put it on lockdown. Additionally, law enforcement asked for a total headcount of everybody on set, also requesting for an area to be sectioned off so that ambulances and other emergency vehicles could get by. Garner had this to say.
"We could see that a lot of attention was being placed on two vehicles but we really didn't know anything other than something major was going on. It was so scary."
As it turns out, senior park ranger Mark Manlapaz was fatally stabbed while working as a public safety specialist on the campus. Manlapaz was a 16-year veteran of the Cal Poly Pomona Campus Security team. The suspect, who has been ID'd by law enforcement as campus custodian Rodney Lee Hunter, was shot and killed after a stand-off with the police. Todd Garner says that everybody on the set of Haunt heard 12 to 15 gunshots, but says that they did not see anything.
Haunt was shooting pickup scenes on that Friday and Todd Garner says that it was best not to film anymore that day. The production picked up on the following Monday without incident. Garner noted that he has been working on movies for a long time, but said that he has never experienced anything like this before. He explains.
"No one on set witnessed the murder, but we realized that it was best not to do any more filming outside that day. I've been doing this a long time, and every time I think I've seen it all, something happens. Seeing this play out in real time was surreal. As a producer, you want to be responsible and weigh all the factors but this was real life and death stuff. Definitely the most freaked out I've been on a movie set."
Haunt is a horror-thriller written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. Todd Garner is producing alongside Eli Roth, Mark Fasano, Ankur Rungta and Vishal Rungta. The movie takes place on Halloween when a group of friends encounter an intense haunted house that will supposedly feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real. You can read more about the sad day on the set over at The Hollywood Reporter.